In August of 2013, Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois signed and enacted into legislation, a proposed medical marijuana measure, that was responsible for establishing an alternative treatment for serious disease causing chronic pain and debilitating conditions. The intended purpose of this Act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture, if the patients engage in the medicinal use of cannabis.
Entitled The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, the measure establishes a patient registry program, protects registered qualifying patients and registered designated caregivers from “arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege,” and allows for the registration of cultivation centers and medical marijuana dispensing organizations. Once the act goes into effect on January 1st of 2014, “a tax is imposed upon the privilege of cultivating medical cannabis at a rate of seven percent of the sales price per ounce.”
Patients in Illinois diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the Illinois Medical Marijuana law, as per the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act:
* Please note: As per the passing of Senate Bill 10, two new medical conditions have been added to the qualifying list of medical conditions:
To qualify for Illinois’ Medical Cannabis program:
Illinois Patient Registry Application Fees:
Application Fees are reduced for persons enrolled in federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs with a “Benefit Verification Letter” from the Social Security Administration (Letter must be dated within the last year and must show Patient’s Name, Address & Type of Benefits Received).
Veterans who receive health services from Veteran’s Administration (VA) Facilities are not required to obtain a written certification from a physician, but can instead submit 12 months of VA records along with their application.
Application Fees (Designated Caregivers):
The Illinois Marijuana Registry is mandatory and does NOT accept other state’s registry cards.
Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in Illinois will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
According to Illinois medical marijuana laws, an “adequate supply” is specifically defined as “2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days, derived solely from an intrastate source”. The cultivation of cannabis by Illinois patients and caregivers is NOT permitted.
Illinois legislatures were considering a proposal that would make recreational use of marijuana legal in Illinois. Not only would patients meeting medical marijuana qualifications in Illinois be able to legally possess up to an ounce of weed, but any adults 21 years of age and older would as well. Advocates estimate that legalizing pot could bring up to $700 million annually in new revenues.